After the dooms of Friday the 13th and the raw brutalities of the North Atlantic forced two retirements, and numerous breakages on board Imerys, Phil’s battle remains strong. As the only Brit left in this epic and historic race to New York, he is ever more determined to do it for Britain!
“I’m currently pointing directly at New York! Still 770 miles to go though! It’s been a great, fast and windy night, and it will be upwind almost entirely to the finish. This is one seriously tough race but we are getting there!” Reported Phil.
Over the last few days Phil, like many skippers, has taken the brunt of the hostile North Atlantic and suffered problems on board. Repeated failures with both the spinnaker and jib have made changing sails complex and time consuming. A compounding effect of these temporary fixes has created limitations in the boat’s sailing angle, which is now unable to go as close hauled to the wind as necessary to max on speed. This does not bode well with the wind direction predicted until New York. The boat’s electronics have also taken the hit several times, leaving Phil “sailing blind” for many hours. Currently he has managed to fix the navigation hardware, though the water desalinator is still not functioning, which could be a problem if he runs low on backup liquids. A separate and potentially concerning issue is an increase of water entering the bow, though Phil reports no structural problems and the mystery of the entering water continues.
“I’m spending a lot of time bailing at the moment, which is a little concerning, though I have found no damage, quite a bit of water is coming into the boat from the bow. Other than that, this morning I spent 40 minutes repairing the deck lashing on the jib for the 3rd time. A little annoying having caught up 10nm to the leader over night. The temporary sail fixes does make it much harder to change sails now, so I will be losing boat speed at times, but I would rather conserve what I have than risk any damage that I can control. Cross-fingers this lashing doesn’t break again, but I feel it might as I am using the same strongest line on board. So I suspect it could be a problem again until the finish as there are five days of solid, rough upwind sailing ahead of us.” Reported Phil.
As more salt water sinks into Phil’s ever deepening tired lines, it is clear that his endurance and determination to win the race is powered by positive energy and sheer drive. Though Phil has faced countless problems, he is still very much in the race and giving it his best.
“I’m getting used to spending my time almost entirely damp or wet, with water sloshing constantly around inside the boat. Fortunately the sea water and night temperature have warmed up as we are in the Gulf Stream and the water is a nice blue! This race is tough for many reasons and I’m enjoying the satisfaction of overcoming problems on board. With all the distractions of breakages it has not been a straightforward race, though after all, this is The Transat bakerly.” Reported Phil.